Carrier Oils: What Do They Do? A Reference Guide

Disclaimer:
All information contained within this post is for reference purposes only and are not intended to substitute the advice given by a pharmacist, physician, or any other licensed health-care professional. Organic Infusions products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition or disease.

Never use an essential oil undiluted unless advised by your health care provider and certified aromatherapist. Keep essential oils away from infants, children, and all pets.

While some of organic essential oils are medical food grade, I do not advise the use of essential oils for internal use unless they are prescribed by your health care provider and certified aromatherapist. Only your health care provider and certified aromatherapist can prescribe the proper dosage and usage. Please check with your health care professional and certified aromatherapist before ingesting any essential oils.

What are Carrier Oils?

Carrier oils are the term used for base oils for products such as aromatherapy blends, massage oils, lotions, soaps, creams, and salves to name a few.  They are usually rich and less expensive than essential oils.  They are great on their own, but can enhance products when blended with other elements.  They are a must when using essential oils due to those oils high concentration levels. Look for cold-pressed, most nourishing, freshest carrier oils; local health food/nutrition store may be a source, but the oils can often be pricier and dust on the bottles when buying oils can indicate they have been sitting around for awhile. Look for oils that are not blends of two or more oils and that have no additives. There are many online resources for oils, I like Mountain Rose and Eden Botanicals, but I have also found things like Shea butter on Etsy and Amazon.  So investigate what you like and what works best for you.

Vitamin E and Carrier Oils

When you buy carrier oils find natural and unadulterated ones; the only exceptions would be those with natural Vitamin E added. Vitamin E, often listed as tocopherolsacts as a natural preservative. It’s a good idea to pop a few capsules of Vitamin E and add that to whatever Carrier Oil you choose; (400 IU of Vitamin E for every 1 oz. of Carrier Oil.) Additionally to prolonging the shelf life of your Carrier Oil, Vitamin E has a variety of healthy benefits for your skin, healing scar tissue and preventing aging by rejuvenating skin cellular activity.

Infused oils 

Infused oils are a base oil with fresh or dried herbs added to it so that the properties of the herbs are steeped into the oils base.  This is usually a several week process using the sun’s energy to heat the oils gently or dark storage in sealed container.  Either way, the herbs are then strained out and you are left with a new oil base product. The choice to do this is for herbs that may not yield oils themselves but have excellent healing properties or than can be toxic on their own.  Common infused oils are calendula, arnica and garlic.

Solid Vegetable Oils

Vegetable butters are not carrier oils, but the beneficial properties of vegetable butters like Cocoa, Mango, Coconut, or Shea make them fats or lipids that are suitable for use in aromatherapy, salves, creams, or other products. Vegetable butters are similar to vegetable oils but are solid at room temperature. Look for butters that are cold pressed.

** Warning** Avoid Mineral Oil

Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are byproducts of petroleum production.  It is not a natural or botanical product. Mineral oil is used in baby oils and many commercially available moisturizers because it is an inexpensive oil to manufacture. However, it clogs pores, prevents the skin from breathing naturally, blocks essential oil absorption, blocks toxins from leaving the body through sweating, reports state that it can be absorbed into the body and block vitamins from properly being utilized. These same concerns apply to petroleum jelly.

**Disclaimer, this information is for educational use only and is not in any way medical advice, please seek medical help of you need it.  Do not use if you have allergies or are pregnant.  Please check with your physician before using any products suggested.**

Here is a huge alphabetical list, (I’m sure there are more), of carrier oils to help you make great selections for your own natural products:

Almond:

Odor: Light, sweet nutty

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: clear with a yellow tinge

Shelf life: 6-12 month

Reaction on the skin: lightly oily, penetrates well

Purpose: can use 100% almond oil as a base, massage oil, softening, revitalizing, good for all skin types, excellent for dry, sensitive or irritated skin, relieves  itchy, inflammation, soreness of skin, nourishing, great lubricant, rich in minerals, vitamins, and proteins, used in cosmetics, and body care products .  Almond is good with babies and children as carrier oil. Makes good soaps, saponifies easily and creates a mild soap with good lather. It contains fatty acids, vitamins A and E and penetrates easily into the skin, softens and conditions skin and hair. Stores well under any condition but extreme heat will lessen the shelf life.

Warnings: ** contains tree nuts

Apricot Kernel Oil:

Odor: Faint aroma

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: clear with a yellow tinge

Shelf life: 612 months

Reaction on the skin: light, silky texture, absorbs easily and quickly

Purpose: can be used 100% as a base oil. Good for massage, facial, skin; encourages skin to secrete its own oils. It’s best for mature, dry sensitive and inflamed skin; good scalp moisturizer.  It is very similar to sweet almond oil, but it is more suitable for sensitive and prematurely aged skin, and skin that is inflamed, irritated or dry; well suited for skin care products because it is a mild, moisturizing oil, readily absorbed into the skin without leaving a residue behind.  Wonderful massage oil for babies and adults; it is great for use in face and body creams, lotions, balms, lip care, hair care and soaps.   An excellent massage oil is 50% apricot and 50% sunflower oil.  Stores well under any condition but extreme heat will lessen the shelf life.

Warnings: **contains tree nuts

Argan oil:

Odor: subtle veggie aroma

Consistency (viscosity): light

Appearance:  clear to golden

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: easily absorbed into the skin

Purpose: maintain the skin’s natural elasticity, nourishing, healing, anti-aging properties, vitamin E and essential fatty acids, will not clog your pores, good for hair as well, (especially fly-a ways, frizz.) helps to heal and is said to protect from the signs of aging; easily absorbed into the skin, making it a crucial ingredient in nourishing and hydrating skin care products. Used in skin, nail and hair treatments to deliver deep hydration, strengthen brittle hair and nails and to prevent blemishes. Works well in lotion and cream formulations, or when used alone. Keeps well when stored in a cool place and away from sunlight.

Warnings: **contains tree nuts 

Arnica Oil:

Odor: depends on infused base oil

Consistency (viscosity): light to medium

Appearance: depends on infused base oil

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: depends on infused base oil

Purpose:  good for inflammation and bruising

Warnings:   **Do not use on broken skin

**Infused Oil

Avocado:

Odor: Sweet, fat, nutty

Consistency (viscosity): thick

Appearance: Deep olive green

Shelf life: 3-6 months

Reaction on the skin: waxy on the skin

Purpose: great for skin and hair, deeply penetrating, rich, nutritious, best for undernourished, dry, dehydrated and mature skin, good for eczema. Naturally contains Vitamins A and E which promote body’s natural collagen production and work with it to improve the skin’s tone and texture. Excellent also for hair care formulations because of its rich fatty properties.     Organic avocado oil also has a lot of culinary applications. Refined avocado oil is well-suited for high heat applications, unrefined has a medium smoke point and is better suited for lower heat applications or unheated applications such as dipping oil or vinaigrettes. It can also be substituted for butter or shortening. Because of the relatively unstable nature of this oil it is recommended that you use the material soon after receiving it, and store away from heat and light. 

Warnings:    ** contains tree nuts

** If allergic to latex can also be allergic to avocado oils

** 25% dilution blend with other oils for massage

Baobab Oil:

Odor: light nutty, almost floral

Consistency (viscosity): light

Appearance: golden yellow

Shelf life: 2+ years

Reaction on the skin: absorbs quickly

Purpose:   antioxidant, stretch marks, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, skin rejuvenation, repairs scar tissue (including acne, surgical, and burn scars, stretch marks), deep wrinkles, UV damage (sun spots), radiation damage, hyper-pigmentation, brittle nails, dry and damaged hair and skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and all types of skin conditions   Rich in vitamins A, E, and F, perfect oil to use for dry skin and products designed to nourish and moisturize dry hair. For maximum shelf life, store tightly sealed in a cool location (under 77 degrees F) and away from sunlight.

Warnings:  none

Black Cumin Oil:

Odor: nutty

Consistency (viscosity):

Appearance: deep amber or darker

Shelf life: 6 -12 months

Reaction on the skin: absorbs quickly

Purpose:   promotes digestion, soothes an earache, soothes postnatal cramps, increases flow of milk in nursing mothers, decrease blood pressure, increases respiration; contains analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and anti-neoplastic properties.

Black Cumin Seed Oil was used by the Ancient Egyptians, Assyrians and later through a trade route through Rome, Greece and even into India. Queen Nefertiti is known to have anointed her body with oils extracted from black cumin seed. King Tutankhamen tomb revealed a bottle of black cumin oil.  It is recorded that the elder Roman scholar Pliny made a poultice recipe with cumin seed oil to treat snake bites and scorpion stings. In the Middle East, the Islamic physicians often prescribed extracts made from black cumin seeds for a variety of ailments including indigestion and upper respiratory problems. The seeds have also been known to repel all types of beasts and bugs. It is even thought to be one of the first insecticides. Black Cumin oil or also known as Black Seed oil is a remarkable and highly prized nutritive oil that can be used in conjunction with your regular dietary regimen. Best if kept stored in a temperature controlled environment. Refrigeration is not necessary but recommended to help increase stability. Mix with jojoba oil for the best benefit (50% jojoba oil with 50% black cumin seed oil)

Warnings:   ** undiluted oil will cause irritation to those with skin sensitivities

**Not to be used while pregnant.

Borage Seed:

Odor: light and sweet

Consistency (viscosity): thin to medium

Appearance: light yellow

Shelf life: 6 months

Reaction on the skin: slightly oily

Purpose: Skin care, dietary, health, cosmetic, and medicinal benefits. This particular oil should be kept refrigerated and away from natural and artificial lighting. Known to be beneficial for both topical and internal applications. Borage seed oil has the highest concentration of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) naturally found, higher than in any other plant source. Using in your food preparations, mix it into the meal just before serving. Do not heat, use cold to take full advantage of its health benefits. For cosmetic applications, either apply directly, or add to your recipe after all heating has taken place. 

Warnings:  ** Do not use if you are currently on medication, speak to your healthcare                               provider before using borage seed oil, as potential interactions or side                                 effects may occur.

** Avoid during pregnancy and nursing, as potential risks are unknown at                               this time.

** Not be used in high doses or over a longer period of time without prior                                approval by a healthcare provider.

** may cause loose stools, and possibly minor stomach complaints.

Calendula Oil:

Odor: depends on base oil infused into

Consistency (viscosity): thin to medium

Appearance: light yellow

Shelf life: 6 months

Reaction on the skin: depends on what oil it is infused into

Purpose: Skin care, healing properties, aids in tissue regeneration, skin rashes, chapped and cracked skin, bruises and  sunburn,

Warnings: ** infused oil

Canola Oil:

Odor: odorless to light odor

Consistency (viscosity): light to medium

Appearance: pale yellow

Shelf life: 1-2 years

Reaction on the skin: lightly oily

Purpose:  good for massaging; absorbs easily; light in texture; odorless; very long shelf life

Warnings:  ** Watch for GMOs

Camellia Seed Oil:

Odor: light herbaceous

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: pale yellow to golden

Shelf life: 1-2 years

Reaction on the skin: good skin penetration

Purpose:  rich in anti-oxidants including Vitamin E, essential fatty acids and non-essential fatty acids including oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid

Warnings:  none

Camelina oil:

Odor: herbaceous, nutty

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: deep golden to greenish

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: absorbs quickly

Purpose: similar to flax in appearance and properties but it has a much more stable shelf life and is not prone to rancidity. Food and cosmetic purposes and comes packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and anti-oxidants. Great for the skin, hair and eyes, the nourishing properties are also popularly used as an oil additive for our animal companion’s food, excellent choice for natural cosmetics and especially hair care formulas. Traditionally it was used for oil in lamps, and as feed for livestock; it has been looked as a bio fuel alternative to corn and as a nutritional supplement for farm and domesticated animals.

Warnings: none

Carrot Oil:

Odor: depends on base oil infused into

Consistency (viscosity): thin to medium

Appearance: bright orange

Shelf life: 6 months

Reaction on the skin: depends on base oil infused into

Purpose: healing, skin care, massage, slowing signs of aging, dry, itchy, and inflamed skin, rich in beta-carotene and vitamins

Warnings: ** infused oil

**10% dilution with a base of a lighter oil

Castor Oil:

Odor: slight aroma

Consistency (viscosity): Thick

Appearance: clear

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: sticky

Purpose: healing, skin care, massage, works best when blended with other oils, penetrates deepest out of all of the oils;  can be found in most cosmetics, and acts as a barrier agent and protective medium against harsh conditions and extremes. It’s very soothing to the skin. Stores well under most conditions. Avoid extreme heat, soluble in alcohol. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.  It’s often used on irritated skin.  It’s usually combined with other oils and not used alone.

Warnings: ** do not take internally without doctor’s care

** will cause laxative effect, and stomach cramping

** will permanently stain sheets

Coconut:

Odor: light aroma

Consistency (viscosity):

Appearance: clear when in oil form or solid white at room temperature

Shelf life: Indefinite

Reaction on the skin: absorbs well, non-greasy, light

Purpose: skin and hair, lotions, this is a great oil for general moisturizing and serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. It also acts as a mild oil suitable for those with inflamed and irritated skin, and those with skin sensitivities. Coconut oil is without a doubt, the number one lather-producing agent used in soaps. And is the first choice for most people in the cosmetics and soap industry. Will melt at 76 degrees and turn to liquid.

Warnings: ** contains tree nuts

Corn Oil:

Odor: light corn odor

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: Golden yellow

Shelf life: 2 years

Reaction on the skin: lightly oily

Purpose: vitamins and minerals that is good for skin, general massage oil

Warnings: ** watch for GMOs

Cranberry Seed Oil:

Odor: Fruity. Slightly bitter, but pleasant.

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: Golden yellow

Shelf life: 2 years

Reaction on the skin: depends on base oil infused into

Purpose: blend of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids (omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids) not available in other natural vegetable oils, also rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin A, nourishing, reduce the signs of aging, and may help with eczema, psoriasis and scarring.

Warnings:  none

Evening Prim Rose: (known also as gamma linoleic acid oral supplement):

Odor: light sweet

Consistency (viscosity): thin to medium

Appearance: light yellow to medium yellow to green

Shelf life: 6 months

Reaction on the skin: leaves oils on skin

Purpose: Skin care, women’s issues, great moisturizing properties, dry, aging skin, treat psoriasis, premenstrual syndrome, and eczema,  food, health, cosmetic, and medicinal benefits. This particular oil should be kept refrigerated to help prolong shelf life.  It may be taken alone, or can be drizzled on top of salads or other prepared meals. For cosmetic use, evening primrose oil should be added after any preparation steps that require heat. 

Warnings: **Bloating or abdominal upset may occur from the excessive use of evening                           primrose seed oil internally.

Flax Seed Oil:

Odor: heavy sweet and nutty

Consistency (viscosity): thin

Appearance: medium yellow to amber

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: easily absorbed

Purpose: is high in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.  It’s especially great for your hair because it promotes hair growth.  Dietary supplement

Warnings: none

Grape seed Oil:

Odor: heavy sweet and nutty

Consistency (viscosity): thin

Appearance: light clear to very slight tinge of yellow

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: glossy film, easily absorbed

Purpose: Massage to skin care; mix with heavier oils for a more nutritious base, generally employed as a base oil for many creams, lotions, and as a general carrier oil. Useful for skin types that do not absorb oils well, and it does not leave a greasy feeling. Good for skin sensitivities because of its natural non-allergenic properties. It absorbs well and imparts both a pleasant odor and taste. Dietary applications.

Warnings: none

Hazelnut Oil:

Odor: nutty aroma

Consistency (viscosity): thin

Appearance: pale yellow

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: light, easily absorbed, mildly astringent

Purpose: massage oil for oily skin, or combination skin, inflamed skin, astringent oil for skin care preparations, absorbs into the skin quickly, and should not leave an oily residue.  Culinary applications: low-heat oil is mostly made up of oleic acid which is classified as a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It may be used as a cooking oil at low temperatures, and makes a delicious addition to salad dressings and dips, adding a nutty flavor profile.

Warnings: **This contains tree nuts.

Hemp Seed:

Odor: Nutty aroma

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: light to deep green

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: lightly oily, absorbs well

Purpose: eczema, psoriasis, acne, menopause, pain relief, PMS, poor circulation, dry skin, immune deficiency, low metabolism, dry skin and hair conditions

This Hemp Seed Oil does NOT contain detectable Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  A sensitive oil that will degrade under excessive light exposure and any fluctuation in temperature. Refrigeration is recommended. The green color in hemp seed oil is a result of the high level of chlorophyll which is naturally present in the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be the most nutritional oils available, containing a lot of medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic uses. Easily digestible in its raw state. It contains less than 10% saturated fats, and 70-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is an unusually high level of the good oils, making this oil beneficial for culinary use. Hemp oil should not be fried, and should preferably be used cold. It may easily be added to salad dressings, pasta, vegetables, smoothies, soups, sauces, hummus, guacamole, pesto, or other foods after the heating/baking has been completed. Hemp seed oil may be added to any body care or cosmetic product, including creams, lotions, facial or body oils, massage oils, shampoo, conditioner, shaving products, lip balm, soap, and any other product. In hair care products, hemp seed oil increases elasticity, manageability, and shine.

Warnings: none

Jojoba:

Odor: light to medium distinct aroma

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: golden yellow

Shelf life: indefinite

Reaction on the skin: absorbs well

Purpose: Skin, anti inflammatory, massage, chemistry closely resembles sebum of skin. Great for all skin types, scalp cleanser for the hair, and is equally wonderful for the skin because it has absorption properties that are similar to our skins own sebum. May become cloudy and solidify as the temperature drops. This is a normal process that occurs from the hardening of the fats and waxes, and it will become stable at or around room temperature. Because Jojoba is not an oil but rather a wax, its shelf life and stability is considerably higher then most oils and rancidity is very rarely a concern.

Warnings: ** Actually a liquid wax

Kukui nut: (candle nut)

Odor: light sweet pleasant nutty

Consistency (viscosity): thin

Appearance: clear with yellow

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: slightly oily, deeply penetrating

Purpose: Skin conditions, massage, cosmetics, helping sooth sunburns and chapped skin. Keep away from high temperatures and direct light. Kukui means ‘enlightenment’ in Hawaiian. Use it for an oil treatment on dry hair and scalp, or add a few drops to your bath water.

Warnings: **This product contains tree nuts.

Macadamia:

Odor: fatty, sweet nutty aroma stronger than almond oil

Consistency (viscosity): thick

Appearance: clear with a yellow tinge

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: leaves a slightly oily film on skin, high absorption

Purpose: anti-inflammatory, massage, one of the best regenerative oils available; closely resembles sebum (the oil naturally produced by one’s skin to help protect it). It’s a good healing oil for scars, sunburns, minor wounds, and other irritations. An unrefined oil that is sensitive to light and will degrade accordingly.

Warnings: ** could over power your blend,

** This product contains tree nuts.

Marula Oil:

Odor: light nutty aroma

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: golden yellow to light brown

Shelf life: 2+ years

Reaction on the skin: leaves an oily film on skin

Purpose: dry skin, damaged hair, inflammation, anti-acne, anti-aging, wrinkles, skin rejuvenation, scars, stretch marks, cellulite, anti-oxidant, rosacea, cuts, sores, brittle nails, dry and damaged hair, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and all types of skin conditions, rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals: E, C, phosphorus, magnesium zinc, iron, copper, flavonoids

Warnings: **contains tree nuts

Medowfoam Seed Oil:

Odor: odorless

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: pale yellow

Shelf life: indefinite

Reaction on the skin: penetrates well

Purpose: rich in Vitamin E, and offers anti-oxidant activity use in anti-aging aromatherapy applications.

Warnings: none

Neem Oil:

Odor: strong garlic/nutty aroma

Consistency (viscosity): dense, blend with other oils to lighten

Appearance: dark amber

Shelf life: 1-2 years

Reaction on the skin:

Purpose: skin care, animal care, culinary as well as health and beauty; it’s healing and protective, moisturizing and regenerative properties. Can be applied directly to the skin or included within skin care preparations that are designed specifically to treat problematic skin conditions. Use in creams, salves, lotions, soaps, bath, big repellents.
Neem Oil is similar to Palm Oil. This process is repeated with each cycle of freezing and thawing. It has a high wax content and therefore clouds and tends to solidify. It is completely normal to see pieces of wax within the oil. This can be filtered out if needed.  It is also normal to find creamy globules of fatty acid deposits when stored at room temperature. These will melt on thawing.  It may be liquefied in a pot of simmering water, in a microwave, in the sun, or at a temperature exceeding 85 degrees.

It is used in many different toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, hair care products, and skin care products. The oil has contains vitamin E, and has essential fatty acids. It is also used to deter mosquitoes, fleas, flies, ticks, mites, and lice. It is suitable for dietary use, but only under the direct supervision of someone qualified in the administration of this substance.  Neem has been used in India since 2000-4000 BC, and was referred to in ancient Indian texts.

Warnings: **Use caution if using internally. Because of neem oil’s strength, we recommend that you do

additional research before using neem oil internally.

**Children and pregnant or nursing women should not use neem. Infants have suffered from

death as a result of internal use of neem.

** Long-term use of the oil has been linked with liver and kidney                                                dysfunction.

** Large doses of neem may be toxic.

**If you are currently on medication, consult with a doctor before using                                   neem. Not enough studies have been done on drug interactions. Keep away                        from children and pets.

Olive oil:

Odor: Olive smell

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: light to medium golden-green

Shelf life: 1-2 years

Reaction on the skin: oily

Purpose: massage, blend with other oils, universal oil used for a multitude of purposes including cosmetics, as a carrier oil, for hair care solutions, and in cooking. Great conditioning effect in body care recipes and can be used in almost all applications because of its stable nature. Do not expose to extended periods of light. This is a great oil for both cosmetic and food use.

Warnings: ** can over power your blend

Palm Fruit Oil:

Odor: characteristic of palm oils

Consistency (viscosity): dense at room temperature, medium at liquid

Appearance: reddish-orange color

Shelf life: 1 year

Reaction on the skin: slightly oily on the skin

Purpose: cosmetics, massage, and culinary, rich source of vitamin E oil and antioxidants, and is stable against heat and oxidation. Palm fruit oil is commonly used in food products as a healthier alternative when compared with other higher saturated oils. It will melt at about 80-90 degrees and turn to liquid.

Warnings: **look for oils that participate in strict environmental sustainability programs

Palm Kernel Oil:

Odor: none

Consistency (viscosity): dense

Appearance: white, solid at room temperature

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: absorbs well, lightly greasy

Purpose: often used in handmade soaps to increase hardness and lather, highly moisturizing can be used in other cosmetic products. Melts and liquefies at 80-82 degrees F, commonly found in handmade soap to increase its lather and hardness. It may also be used in a multitude of other cosmetic and body care products for its moisturizing properties.

Warnings: **look for oils that participate in strict environmental sustainability                                       programs

Passion Fruit Seed Oil: (Maracuja)

Odor: sweet fruity aroma

Consistency (viscosity): light

Appearance: golden yellow to deep orange

Shelf life: 2+ years

Reaction on the skin: absorbs well

Purpose: disinfectant, anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, dry skin, damaged hair, muscle aches and pain, inflammation, reduces swelling, anti-acne, anti-aging, wrinkles, skin rejuvenation, brittle nails, dry and damaged hair, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and all types of skin conditions.  Rich in vitamins and minerals: A, C, calcium, flavonoids, phosphorus and potassium.

Warnings: none

Peanut:

Odor: Light, nutty, fatty

Consistency (viscosity): thick

Appearance: clear

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: leaves a heavy oily film on skin

Purpose: Good for arthritis, blend with other oils for massage

Warnings: **watch peanut allergies

** Contains tree nuts 

Pecan

Odor: Very light nutty aroma,

Consistency (viscosity): Medium

Appearance: clear

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: penetrates well, but leaves an oily film

Purpose:  massage oil, mix with other oils,

Warnings: **could overpower a blend

** Contains tree nuts

Pomegranate Seed Oil:

Odor:  odorless to slightly fruity

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance:  yellow to soft amber

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: light, penetrates well

Purpose:  rich in anti-oxidants, an anti-inflammatory, for dry or irritated skin or aging skin. Studies have apparently demonstrated that Pomegranate Seed Oil may offer protection against free radicals and may help destroy cancer cells. It is naturally high in flavonoids and punicic acid, is remarkable for the skin and has numerous dietary benefits as well. Deeply nourishing to the outer epidermal layer, provides benefits for numerous skin ailments, and gently challenges free radicals that damage and age the skin. Add to your cosmetics or as a stand-alone oil to help nourish and develop healthy skin cell regeneration. May be used within most skin care formulas, including soap making, massage oils, facial care products, and other body care and cosmetic products. Only a small amount is needed within formulas to achieve beneficial results.

Warnings: none

Pumpkins Seed Oil:

Odor: light, rich

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: deep amber

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: light, penetrates well

Purpose: suitable for culinary applications, abundant health and epidermal benefits. Its delicate nature requires it be stored in a cool and dry place, away from light and we recommend refrigeration to prolong shelf life. It is best to use the oil in its raw form, so that the important health benefits are not damaged by heat. A great way to use this oil is in a salad dressing, smoothie, or drizzled over a freshly cooked meal just before serving. One of the most nutritional oils available, and is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and sterols. It contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to promote energy levels, brain function, and overall health and vitality. It also contains vitamins A and C, zinc, and other trace minerals and vitamins.

Warnings: none

Rose Hip Oil:

Odor: light, earthy aroma to heavy

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: clear, pale yellow, to rich orange

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: penetrates well.

Purpose: Skin conditions, tissue regenerating properties, slows signs of aging, dry, mature, sunburned, or lack luster skins.  Fights against dry, weathered, and dehydrated skin; used for treating wrinkles and premature aging, great for scars. It is a wonderful hydrator, and penetrates dry or damaged skin immediately.  It’s a, “dry” oil, meaning that it soaks into the skin easily, and does not leave a greasy film. It should be kept refrigerated, and it should also be noted that rosehip seed oil is often more susceptible than other vegetable oils, especially in regards to fluctuations in temperature, oxygen, and light. This oil may be used straight from the bottle as a moisturizer, or can be incorporated into a cream, lotion, facial oil, or massage oil. Because it is so gentle, rosehip seed oil may be used undiluted on the skin.

Warnings: ** 20% dilution with a lighter base oil

** Not recommended for use on acne, or on very oily skin.

Safflower Oil:

Odor: bland, light

Consistency (viscosity):

Appearance: clear to honey colored

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: easily absorbed

Purpose:  cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, obesity, infection, inflammation, blood sugar stability, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, nervous system disorders, fever, blood clots, blood pressure regulation, skin rejuvenation, prevents wrinkles, anti-aging, acne, scars, strengthens immune system.  Helps prevent damage to cell membranes helping to diminish signs of aging while keeping the skin smooth and supple. Popular for massage blends as it is easily absorbed and can be washed from sheets without heavy staining, first choices for skin care recipes requiring moisturizing benefits. Stores well under any condition but extreme heat and light will lessen the shelf life.

Warnings:  none

Saint John’s Wort Oil:

Odor: depends on infused base oil

Consistency (viscosity): light to medium

Appearance: light yellow

Shelf life: 6-12 months

Reaction on the skin: oily

Purpose: good for muscle and joint inflammations; healing properties are good for first aid uses

Warning: ** Infused base oil

Sea Buckthorn Berry oil:

Odor: light, fatty

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: orange color

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: oily

Purpose:  Skin care uses, anti-aging, skin regeneration, restores skin tissue,  wrinkles, scalp rejuvenation, shiny hair, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-viral, promotes skin health, acne, rosacea, wounds, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers, burns, A useful, highly prized oil typically used to treat damaged skin. It can be applied directly to the skin or included within skin care preparations that are designed to relieve occasional symptoms of problematic skin conditions. It is a concentrated oil, use sparingly. This particular oil will solidify if exposed to low temperatures, and it is best left at room temperature. Some mild staining of skin may occur; this is temporary and washes off easily. Use caution, spread evenly and dilute.

Warnings: ** Dilute, highly concentrated

Sesame Seed Oil:

Odor: nutty, sesame aroma

Consistency (viscosity): medium to thick

Appearance: pale yellow to golden

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: oily film on skin

Purpose:  Sesame Seed Oil is a good choice for massage. Blend with other oils.  It should ideally be blended with other carrier oils. Culinary uses, nutritious oil for sautés, baked goods, spicy marinades, braised vegetables, and perfectly golden deep-fried tempura. Stores well under any condition but extreme heat will lessen the shelf life.

Warnings: ** may overpower a blend

Shea Nut Oil:

Odor: bland

Consistency (viscosity): thick

Appearance: light golden

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: smooth and rich feel to skin

Purpose:  benefits for numerous skin problems including dermatitis, eczema, burns, cutaneous dryness, and other irritations. Highly recommended as a protective agent against harsh weather conditions where a mild barrier against the elements is desired. Stores well under any condition but extreme heat will lessen the shelf life.

Warnings:  **This product contains tree nuts.

Soybean Oil:

Odor: odorless

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: light yellow

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: easily absorbed

Purpose:  Contains vitamin E, this oil makes a great base for your skin care products created for outer epidermal healing. Soybean oil is easily absorbed and leaves a smooth sensation to the skin. A stable oil best used for cosmetics preparations and dispersing essential oils because of its low cost and easy application. Keep out of contact with light and avoid exposure to extreme changes in temperature.

Warnings: **Watch for GMOs

Sunflower Seed:

Odor: faint and sweet aroma

Consistency (viscosity): thin

Appearance: clear, tinge of yellow

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: lightly oily, penetrates well

Purpose: good all purpose oil, with high amounts of vitamins A, D, and E, deeply nourishing and conditioning for the skin, and is highly recommended for recipes designed to treat dry, weathered, aged, and damaged skin. Stores well under any condition but extreme heat and light will lessen the shelf life.

Warnings:**Watch GMOs

Tamanu Oil:

Odor: heavy, fatty odiferous

Consistency (viscosity): medium to thick

Appearance: amber to dark green

Shelf life: 10-14 months

Reaction on the skin: oily, sticky

Purpose: anti-aging, wound infections, septicemia, pneumonia, abscesses, boils, conjunctivitis, diphtheria, infected burns, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, madura foot – which causes the foot’s skin to swell and split, jock itch, ringworm, athlete’s foot, scars, leprosy, some natural sunscreen properties.  Has antimicrobial qualities, contains powerful bactericide and fungicide agents, and can be applied directly to skin, undiluted.  Tamanu oil has been thoroughly researched, and the conclusive evidence on its ability to heal damaged skin is overwhelming; it’s antineuralgic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties. Its benefits are notable for scarring, stretch marks, minor cuts and abrasions, rashes, sores, and much more. It can be used directly on the skin or mixed within formulations. Stores well under any condition but extreme heat will lessen the shelf life. Tamanu oil may naturally separate or solidify at cold temperatures. It may be liquefied in a pot of simmering water, in a microwave, in the sun, or at a temperature exceeding 85 degrees.

Warnings: ** will over power blends

** Tree nut

Walnut Oil:

Odor: light, slightly nutty

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: yellow

Shelf life: 12 months

Reaction on the skin: penetrates well, absorbs easily

Purpose: good for the nervous system, culinary, massage

Warnings: **Contains tree nuts

Watermelon Seed Oil:

Odor: light, slightly nutty, mild

Consistency (viscosity): thin

Appearance: yellow

Shelf life: indefinite

Reaction on the skin: penetrates well, light with good absorption

Purpose:  Skin care uses; it’s a good choice for use with oily skin or all skin types. Other thicker oils and oils with shorter shelf lives can be blended with Watermelon Seed Oil to lighten their texture and aroma and extend their overall shelf life.

Warnings: none

Wheat Germ Oil:

Odor: heavy

Consistency (viscosity): medium

Appearance: amber /dark brown

Shelf life: 3-6 months

Reaction on the skin: oily

Purpose: externally used for numerous irritations including roughness of the skin, cracking, and chaffing. Many crafters of cosmetics use it successfully to help reverse the effects of wrinkling. It’s a very sensitive oil that will degrade quickly when exposed to extremes in temperature fluctuation, oxidization, and light. Refrigeration is highly recommended.  Wheat Germ Oil is widely used as both a cosmetic ingredient and as a dietary supplement. Because of its anti-oxidant and regenerative properties, wheat germ oil is a wonderful ingredient to add to body care and cosmetic products. Wheat germ oil can be taken alone, drizzled on top of salads, vegetables, pasta, pesto, or other meals. Wheat germ oil should not be heated.

Warnings: **It should not be used by those with wheat or gluten allergies, either externally or

internally.

** will over power your blend

** For massage oil blends, it is recommended that you incorporate 10-15%.

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer available at http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com

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6 thoughts on “Carrier Oils: What Do They Do? A Reference Guide

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